‘Breaking Good’ in Rural America

‘Breaking Good’ in Rural America

Mark Bennett, Tribune-Star:

“It’s the story of a young girl who grew up in a small Indiana town in the 1980s and ’90s. Yet, it’s a larger story, too, reaching beyond her roots of a little place tucked into the farm fields of west-central Indiana. A safety net of fellow church members, extended family and neighbors helped pave a path for J. Dana Trent to graduate from Duke University Divinity School, become a professor of world religions and critical thinking at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, N.C., serve as a chaplain in the intensive care units of University of North Carolina hospitals, and write four books by age 39.

“It was people who believed in me,” Trent said. “There were these sort of guardian angels.”

Now, she’s researching the possibilities of churches collaborating to help kids affected by social ills. Trent’s study is supported by a grant from the Louisville Institute and funded by the Lilly Foundation. Her research — titled “Breaking Good: The Church’s Response to Systemic Poverty, Mental Illness, and Drug Addiction in Flyover Country” — should result in her fifth book. She expects to complete her research this fall.”

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